Style in The Stuy: Shade Shift

Can you rewind and come again?

Vintage wearers have a certain way about them: They possess a character driven by art, nostalgia and an inherent sense of what makes a thing classic or forever fly. 

Sunglasses designs are going "back in the day" to create a modern, bold statement in today's popular culture and on the faces of style mavericks all across Brooklyn.

Like most popular pieces, sunglasses were functional long before they were fashionable. Sunglasses date back to 12th Century China when judges wore smoky quartz glasses to conceal their expression in court; Roman emperor Nero wore them to check out the gladiators; and as the 20th Century kicked in, movie stars wore them before shooting to protect their eyes from the harsh lighting at that time.

By the 1960s, sunglasses became a bona fide fashion accessory for the cool set. In no time, manufacturer Foster Grant developed a successful ad campaign glamorizing his eyewear as the “Sunglasses of the Stars." The brand's commercial "Isn’t that ______ behind those Foster Grants?" was so effective that whenever a celebrity wore any shades, they were thought to be Foster Grants.

Vintage eyewear not only conjures something intriguing about the past, but also, something quite special about the person wearing it.

Owning that intrigue can allow for a respectable "shade-shifting" if you possess the attitude that should come with a good pair.

Cazals, favored by 80s rappers like Busy Bee and DMC of Run DMC have been perfectly resurrected by Bed-Stuy natives Mos Def and Jay Z. When Jay Z wants to get his Miami Vice-slash-Phillip Michael Thomas on he turns to his pair of vintage Alpina M1s.

Serengetis trumped over Ray Bans by pilots in the military back in the 70s, are currently rocked well by BK’s finest Talib Kweli.

Dita von Teese’s 1950s style of eye dress is coveted by true old-school seekers as she favors vintage Chanel and Dior. Model Twiggy’s infamous oversized square pair sought after as well are affectionately called SPY Twiggy Sunglasses.

Brooklyn writer and socialite Ndada Vaz prides herself on her select collection:

“First of all, vintage glasses are fresh.  I like to find a pristine pair that have an aesthetic that’s hard to duplicate," said Vaz. "The right pair of sunglasses can turn a v-neck tee and sweatpants into a something else.”

To shop a great selection online, go to www.vintageframesshop.com

Shantrelle P. Lewis May 16, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Thank you J! I have an affair with vintage shades and I agree, N'dada ALWAYS rocks fresh specs.


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